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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Discoid Lupus
Posted by: Nichol
Date: August 11, 2001 10:45 PM

I have had recurring redness and swelling on my left cheek due to sun exposure. My dermatologist thinks I may have rosacea, but as a precaution took an ANA test for lupus (hoping to rule it out). After some research of rosacea, I found no indication that it causes swelling. This was a rather strong symptom for left eye was almost completely swollen shut!! Based on research alone, I think I have symptoms similar to Discoid Lupus Erythematosis. My question: is this known to cause swelling to sun exposure or extreme heat (not just red patches or rashes)?

RE: Discoid Lupus
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: August 11, 2001 11:12 PM

Short answer: yes. Long answer: discoid lupus lesions may develop thick, scaly (hyperkeratotic) formations and are termed hyperkeratotic or hypertrophic cutaneous lupus lesions. Discoid lupus lesions may also occur in the presence of thickening (deep induration) of the layers of underlying skin. This is termed lupus profundus. Photosensitivity is a common feature of lupus erythematosus. The overwhelming majority of specific lupus lesions (i.e., discoid lesions and subacute cutaneous lupus lesions) occur on sun-exposed areas. In addition, approximately 40-70% of people with lupus will note that their disease process, including the skin disease, is aggravated by sun exposure. As to rosacea, what dermatologists have not yet caught onto is the fact that it is caused by mercury overload.

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